Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Miscellaneous

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The Incumbent and Churchwardens sought permission to sell a Georgian silver flagon and matching alms dish dated 1774, a silver chalice and paten dated 1570 and the surviving part of an illuminated medieval missal. The Council for the Care of Churches suggested that the missal should be deposited in the County Records Office. This was agreed, and a faculty was granted in respect of that item. The silver had not been used for over 20 years and the proposed sale was with a view to starting a fund to cover the cost of an extension to the church, the cost of which would be in th region of £300,000. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the sale. Church silver should only be sold as a last resort. The application to sell the silver was premature. There was no immediate financial crisis. Planning permission had not yet been obtained. In fact planning permission had been refused two years earlier and no appeal had been made against the decision. There had not yet been any appeal for funds, and so one could not argue that the proceeds of a sale of the silver were vital to the completion of the project.

Faculty granted for the sale to the National Maritime Museum of two flags taken from the Battle of Trafalgar, one a Union Flag from HMS Minotaur, the other an Austrian ensign believed to have been taken from the Spanish ship Neptuno.

Faculty granted for votice candle stand. Judgment contains a discussion as to the legality of the use of votive candles in church.

The incumbent applied for a Faculty to authorise him to enter into a deed of release of rights to light on two sides of a church, in order to allow a developer to carry out development on adjoining land, 'subject to "the Church" being paid £20,000'. The Chancellor decided that an Incumbent had no power to grant a legal easement, and therefore no power to enter into a deed of release of an easment. However, the Chancellor said that the matter could be dealt with by "the incumbent licensing the construction on land adjoining the church of a building which will obstruct the light to the church".

An application was made for a faculty for the placement in the Casewick Chapel of an oak altar, which would also be used as a table for serving refreshments. Faculty refused by the Chancellor, quoting Canon F2, which provides that an altar table "shall be kept in a sufficient and seemly manner". The Chancellor thought that the more frequent proposed use for serving refreshments was not a seemly use of an altar.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the installation of a retractable screen to be placed over the chancel arch of the church, being satisfied that this would be preferable to the current arrangement of standing a portable screen on boxes at the front of the nave, and that the works were likely to bring benefits which outweighed the general presumption that change should not be permitted.

The proposals were to install a drop-down screen behind the chancel arch, and also install a digital projector in a Grade I listed church. There were four objectors, but none wished to be a party to the proceedings. Re St. Alkmund Duffield considered. Faculty granted.


A faculty had been granted in 2014 to authorise the redecoration of the interior of the church with four coats of limewash. When the old emulsion was removed, the walls looked in poor condition and it was thought that four coats of limewash would not be sufficient to cover the walls, which were “patchy” and “deep green” in various areas. The architect favoured a product called Zinsser Grade 1 paint. He obtained the PCC's permission to use it and instructed the contractors to use the paint instead of limewash, which the contractors reluctantly did. Within a month of application, the paint was pealing off the walls. The Chancellor asked the Archdeacon to apply for a restoration order, which the Archdeacon did. The Chancellor granted an order, stating that the architect should not have directed the use of an alternative covering without obtaining first a variation of the faculty. And the Chancellor directed that the achitect should meet the cost of the remedial work.

In spite of reservations by a few parishioners, the Chancellor approved the acceptance of a gift of a silver chalice and paten in memory of a former regular worshipper at the church, the late Mrs. Mary Rowe, the chalice to be inscribed on the base: "In memory of Mary Rowe 1938-2001".